Agriculture. Minister warns rice farmers to be careful when harvesting – Kaieteur News

Agriculture. Minister warns rice farmers to be careful when harvesting

– As high intensity rainfall is expected over the weekend

The Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, and other officials visited one of the pumps yesterday.

Kaieteur News – With the Hydromet Department anticipating high intensity rainfall outbreaks over the next three to four days, yesterday, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha conducted a site visit to two of the recently acquired drainage pumps in Georgetown. One of the pumps is located in Sussex Street, while the other is at Ruimveldt.
Following his visit, the Minister said that it was important for him to assess the city’s drainage structures in advance of the dark weather forecast, as many areas in Georgetown are prone to flooding.
The Minister was keen to remind that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) can boost its drainage capacity with three additional pumps through the Indian Credit Line. Because of this, he said, “We were able to buy an additional 12 pumps at a cost of US $ 3.5 million. One of these floodwater pumps costs US $ 500,000 and we have three of those in Georgetown to boost the city’s drainage capacity. One of these pumps can drain 35,520 gallons of water per minute. ”
The Minister added, “With such a high drainage capacity, I hope we can avoid the kind of flooding we have experienced over the last few months. The City Engineer has also assured me that he has enough human resources to manage these structures not only to ensure that they remain operational, but that they operate in a timely manner because we do not want to repeat what it happened two weeks ago. “
In addition to this, Mustapha said rice farmers should take all precautions during this time when crossing the dams to transport their paddy from the fields. In this regard, the Minister said, “We are currently in harvest season with about 50% of the rice fields completed. Prior to the harvest period, the Ministry would have spent millions of dollars to rehabilitate several dams, so that farmers could transport their paddy out of the fields. Due to the inclement weather, many of those dams are becoming impossible once again. I want to reassure our farmers that we will continue to maintain these dams but at the same time, I want to appeal to the farmers to use the dams responsibly, so that everyone would have an opportunity to bring their own product out. . ”
He added, “With the figures I receive from the GRDB, I’m anticipating a small crop this season. We have seen an increase in our quota for Brazil from 10,000 tonnes to 34,000 tonnes of rice. We also have new markets in Hungary and Latvia so, overall, our overall export quota will increase and at the same time we will see an increase in production of this crop. This is why we are working to put things in place so that we can avoid or at least reduce farmers’ losses and also avoid flooding in residential areas, ”said Minister Mustapha.
The subject Minister also said that he would be conducting further visits to pumps around the Coast over the next few days.
Minister Mustapha was accompanied by NDIA CEO Fredrick Flatts, NDIA Board Chairman Lionel Wordsworth and other NDIA officials.